Witness 054 Christians Lessons: Faith Will Protect You, But The Response May Not Be What You Expect

“…Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”  Matthew 17:20

Overview

During times like the current Pandemic, it is difficult for some people to follow their faith.  When people lose their jobs, have loved ones suffer severe illness, not able to meet with close relatives or friends, and frustrated in general with all the restrictions, it is challenging to maintain their faith in God.  After reading the verse above, many people think God should respond to them immediately, and with the result they requested. 

Many times the answer to a prayer is different than requested and may not be as quick as we expect.  Faith in God will lead to an eternal life of happiness.  That does not mean that your requests for help on earth will be delivered as you requested.  Sometimes your prayers are answered over time in a way that you did not expect.  Many times the result is better than you hoped because you did not know about future events.

My Experience

Like most people, I experienced many challenges over the past six months.  My business suffered because of the Pandemic, which caused financial difficulties in our family.  I broke my leg and suffered from gout.  My daughter gave birth to twin boys, and I have not been able to see them. These challenges are similar to the ones many people are experiencing. 

It would be easy to become discouraged when I pray for help, and my troubles are still there.  In my case, God answered my prayers, but not as I expected.   Five months after I broke my leg, the doctor told me I had to have surgery, and I would not be able to run again.  He told me I need access to a swimming pool so I could get my exercise that way, or I could walk on a treadmill.  I prayed for help.  A little while later, while I was preparing for a Bible School class, I read about the Daniel Fast.  I went on the twenty-day fast, and my leg healed within two weeks after completing Fast.  The doctor said that he did not know how the Fast helped my leg except that Fasting over that many days causes the body to produce CBD.  He said that the CBD could have been a factor. 

The fantastic point is that my reason for going on the Fast had nothing to do with healing my leg.  I wanted to experience what the people of Biblical times experienced.  God answered my prayer with a solution that I did not expect.  If I had not acted on the idea of doing the Fast, I might have still needed surgery.

Summery

We must maintain our faith in God during challenging times.  Sometimes the answer to the prayer requires work on our part.  Do not turn from God when you do not see the solution you expected.  Trust God and be aware that after time passes, the answer may be much better than you expected.

Witness 053 Christians Lessons: Define Your Goals In Detail

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” — Matthew 7:7-8

Overview

It is essential to take the time to plan your life.  You need to review what you have accomplished so far, where you are now, and what you wish to achieve during the rest of your life.  So many people pray for God to help them achieve specific goals in life when they have not done the work to analyze what it takes to complete those goals or what they will accomplish if they do complete their plan. 

God will open doors for you, but you must complete the work to understand what you must do to move to where you wish to be.  The planning is a significant effort and will require many prayers to help you complete a plan that you can follow to your goal.  Of course, you will adjust specific objectives as you move toward your goal.  There will be many obstacles you did not foresee. 

My Experience

I am in the senior phase of my life.  I experienced some success in school, sports, and business, but I decided to plan a new path.    I wanted to review all the skills I developed over the years and apply those skills to a new plan.  My life, to this point, has benefited significantly from following Christian Lessons. I decided to dedicate a significant part of the rest of my life to promoting Christian Lessons.

I thought about this plan for weeks before I began to create measurable objectives.  I decided that I did not wish to be a formal officer of any Church.  I want to reach people based on my witness accounts.  During my life, I was able to talk to people about Christian Lessons by making the conversation friendly with no pressure.  I only wanted to help people, and I did not get frustrated when they did not respond.  The scriptures from the Bible that affected me the most were the witness accounts from Paul, John, Matthew, and Peter.  I felt the emotion from their accounts of an event.  I used those witness messages as a model for my pursuit.

My overall goal was to communicate my witness accounts regarding Christian Lessons to as many people as possible.  My business experience was related to the Internet, so I knew the Internet would be part of my plan.

I thought about the objective for a couple of months and then created a plan with a few targets.  My first objective was to write a book that documented how Christian Lessons affected my life.  I published the book, “Life Enhancement With Jesus,” in September of 2019.  This book recorded my life experiences with Christian Lessons from my childhood to 2019. 

My next step was to create the “Life Enhancement Group” website, “legroup.us.”  After creating the site and taking it to live, I created this blog and have posted over 50 articles.  I developed many followers and began to communicate with people from all over the world.  It was a start.

I continue to pray for guidance to communicate with more people about Christian Lessons.  I am going to add a newsletter and make the blog articles stronger witness accounts. Then I plan to publish more books that will document the witness statements from other people. 

I wish to have fellowship with as many Christians as possible, but my goal is to introduce Jesus to as many people who do not know him as possible.  I will continue to plan and ask for guidance.

Summary

You need to do the work to plan life achievements and pray for guidance.  The guidance will not always be what you expect. Sometimes things seem harmful at the time, but after some time things look a lot different.  When God opens the door, the next room may not be what you expected.  Do not judge, take the time to review the new experience.  

Consider My Book – Life Enhancement With Jesus

If you are interested in reading Christian Lessons that affected my entire life, please consider the book I recently published.  Click on the Button for information and to purchase one of the three options:  Ebook, Soft Cover, and Hard Cover.

Witness 052 Christian Lessons: Do Not Allow Anger To Destroy Your Life

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’  But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.   Matthew Chapter 5 Verses 21 & 22

Overview

Jesus is telling us that expressing anger to those people near us is against God’s law, and God will judge us harshly.  Putting people down verbally in any way is harmful to the other person and you.  The critical point about this lesson is that by controlling your anger, you improve your life in addition to sparing the other person.  You will experience less stress, and you are much more likely to find a workable solution to a bad situation that is agreeable to everyone.   

It is essential to spend your energy working on ways to make life better for you and those people around you, not make sure someone knows how much you resent them.

My Experience

Many years ago, I worked with a person who always seemed to find a way to take credit for the work of others.   I resented him because he hid the contributions of other people, including me.  I felt bad a couple of times because I exposed some of his mistakes to other people in the company.   I communicated his mistakes because of my anger, not because of the results of his mistakes.   Afterward, I felt terrible about my choice to expose him.  I remembered the lesson I learned while playing football, play for the team, and do not be concerned with personal credit.  Years later, I studied the Sermon On The Mount and learned that playing for the team, not myself was the subject of a significant Christian Lesson.  Since that day, I remembered not to allow anger to affect my life. 

Summary

When we follow God’s Law, we improve our own lives along with the lives of those around us.  It is critical to have discipline and not allow anger to hurt ourselves and other people. 

Consider My Book – Life Enhancement With Jesus

If you are interested in reading Christian Lessons that affected my entire life, please consider the book I recently published.  Click on the Button for information and to purchase one of the three options:  Ebook, Soft Cover, and Hard Cover.

Witness 051 Christian Lessons: Following Jesus Means Saying No To Your Desires

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.’”  Matthew 16:24-25

Overview

If we are going to follow Christian Lessons, we must deny many of our desires.  Christian Lessons teach us to focus our energy on helping other people, especially those people with limited resources.  The good news is that you do not have to give up everything to follow Jesus.  When you review your experiences over a long time, you will see many benefits that you gained from following Christian Lessons and putting the needs of other people ahead of your desire to have more.

My Experience

I learned at an early age that working to gain recognition for my efforts was not nearly as important as helping other people.  By shifting my focus from trying to be recognized to encouraging other people, I was able to improve life for everyone.  I received plenty of recognition without striving for it. 

When I started a software business, there were many challenges with customers and staff members.  After starting the company, I learned right away that it was not crucial that I receive credit for all good results.  My focus was on developing my staff and helping the customers. 

There were many times when customers did not have the resources or the knowledge to accomplish specific tasks with our software. At first, my thought was to explain to them that the software is not the problem.  I soon realized that encouraging them to focus their efforts was much more productive than proclaiming the software is not the issue.  The result of helping the customers even though we do not include support with the purchase of our software, we increased sales because we had better communication with our customers, and the customers referred us to new customers. 

When I look back on the first few years of the business, I helped many of the customers because I knew they needed our help even though they did not pay for it.  Later I realized that over time I benefited as much as the customers did. 

Summary

In many situations, it may be to your advantage to think of yourself first, but if you make the Christian choice and help needy people, you will benefit over time. The key is not to do things because you will benefit from them, make helping others and following Christian teaching your number one priority and you will find that your life is better than if you chose the selfish approach.

Consider My Book – Life Enhancement With Jesus

If you are interested in reading Christian Lessons that affected my entire life, please consider the book I recently published.  Click on the Button for information and to purchase one of the three options:  Ebook, Soft Cover, and Hard Cover.

Witness 050 Christian Lessons: Following the rules of your Church does not make you holy

“Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”  Matthew 15:11

Overview

Many religions and specific Churches have rules and guidelines they instruct their members to follow.  Often these rules are very detailed.  You may choose to agree to the laws of a specific Church.  However, following the commandments and Christian Lessons from the Bible are what make makes you closer to God, not the requirements of a particular Church.

My Experience

During the time I was a child, our family moved to different locations many times.  My father was an engineer for the State of California.   The state would transfer him every couple of years.  We usually lived in a small town that only had one or two Protestant Churches.  I attended different types of Churches.   Although all the Churches believed in the Christian Lessons from the Bible, each one had different interpretations regarding how a Christian Lessons applied to our lives. 

My father taught me that the Church was an excellent place to meet other people who believed in Christianity and share experiences.  He also said that many people have their understanding of what the Bible means.  It is more important to read the Bible and pray than to rely on the guidelines of a specific Church.  He made it clear that I needed to develop my knowledge based on reading the Bible, listening to other people, and prayer. 

I found that the Christian Lessons in the New Testimate were easy to understand.  I was able to apply those lessons to my life.  However, there were some Christian Lessons that I learned as a child but did not realize how much they affected my life until I was an adult.  One specific example was when the answer to prayer was to play for the team, not for my recognition.  I learned how helping the other players on the football team rather than promoting myself was better for the entire team, including me.  However, it took me another ten years to understand that this lesson applied to all parts of my life, not just sports.  I learned that I had to continue to evaluate the Christian Lessons and apply those lessons to all aspects of my life.  My understanding of some Christian Lessons changed after I experienced different situations .

Summary

Each Church will have its guidelines for the operation of the Church.  Although the members should follow those guidelines, they should rely on their own experiences and always be open to a new understanding as they grow their relationship with God. 

Consider My Book – Life Enhancement With Jesus

If you are interested in reading Christian Lessons that affected my entire life, please consider the book I recently published.  Click on the Button for information and to purchase one of the three options:  Ebook, Soft Cover, and Hard Cover.

Witness 049 Christian Lessons: You must forgive others if you wish God to forgive you

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”  Matthew 6:14-15

Overview

To forgive someone does not mean that the wrong someone did is OK, it means that you are releasing them from any consideration for the injustice they committed.   There are times when this is a difficult concept to accept.  It is essential to understand that when you release them, you free yourself from stress and you will enjoy your life more than you would if you made an issue with the other person.

My Experience

Back when I was playing high school football, I had experiences where other players took credit for my accomplishments or somethings other players did not work as hard during practice as they should have. They made mistakes during the game that affected my performance.  During my first three years, I did not handle those situations well.  I spent a lot of energy, making sure those players knew how I felt about them. 

I had to move from a small town in Northern California to Los Angeles just before my senior year.  I was so upset; I thought my college scholarship hopes were over.  I prayed for help.  The message I received was to play for the team, not my accomplishments.  I did not understand how this would help me be competitive in Los Angels when I only had my senior year to play. 

I did follow the advice.  My only thought was to help the team.  I spent all my energy helping the other players support the team.  It was amazing how much more I could accomplish, and I was not concerned about credit.  I was much happier.  The result was that the players, coaches, and fans gave me plenty of support even though I was only there one year.  I did get a football scholarship, but also if I had not played football in college, I was so much happier than I was in my first three years of high school.

Years later, I realized that the answer to my prayer to play for the team was a Christian Lesson I was taught many times in church.   I applied this Christian Lesson when I was in the Marine Corps and later, when I founded my business.   

Summary

 

An excellent benefit from Christian Lessons is that following them not only fulfills your commitment to God, but it improves your life on earth.    You do not have to ignore some did something wrong to release them from any obligation to you.  If you want forgiveness for all of your sins, you must forgive others.          

Consider My Book – Life Enhancement With Jesus

  

If you are interested in reading Christian Lessons that affected my entire life, please consider the book I recently published.  Click on the Button for information and to purchase one of the three options:  Ebook, Soft Cover, and Hard Cover.

Witness 048 Christian Lessons: Do not gain wealth at the expense of your soul

 “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”  Matthew 16:26

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it”  Matthew 7:13-14

Overview

We face many challenges in life where we must choose between following Christian Lessons or gaining wealth at the expense of our Christian values.  We make choices that affect our standard of living as well as other people every day.  What is the benefit to you, if you have every material thing you wish but lose your soul?

My Experience

I learned that we must do more than make the Christian choices; we must make Christian choices for the right reasons.  I learned that if I decide to do something that follows Christian beliefs, but my purpose is to make myself look good, I will fail to live up to Christian values.  You can not earn your way to a saved soul, but you can accept being saved and work to live up to Christian values and do what you can to help others.

I faced many challenges in my life where I had to decide between making a decision that would benefit me or doing the right thing.  I did not always make the correct choice.  As I grew up, I made some choices that helped me look better at the expense of other people.  I felt terrible for those people I harmed, but I would repeat the mistake. 

It was not until my junior year in high school when I was facing a challenge that I thought would destroy all my dreams, that I began to make decisions based on how other people would be affected.  Going to Church taught me this lesson, but I never applied it.  It took thinking I was going to lose all my dreams for me to pray openly for help.  The answer was definite.  I am to work to help everyone, not work to advance me personally.  In my case, the actual message from the prayer was to play for the team, not myself.  Earning a football scholarship was very important to me at the time, and I thought that opportunity was lost if I had to move with only my senior year left.  After moving, I played football as instructed in the message, playing for the team, not myself.  I did earn a scholarship, and I applied that lesson to all parts of my life.

Summary

I did not relate the message of playing for the team to the Christian Lessons from Church until I was over thirty years old.  I learned the lessons but did not apply them.  We must study the Christian Lessons and think about how they apply to our situation.   After living my life to this point, I can see that Christian Lessons teach us how God wants us to live, but our experience here on earth is dramatically improved.  All the money in the world can not give us the satisfaction we receive when helping others.

Consider My Book – Life Enhancement With Jesus

If you are interested in reading Christian Lessons that affected my entire life, please consider the book I recently published.  Click on the Button for information and to purchase one of the three options:  Ebook, Soft Cover, and Hard Cover.

Witness 047 Christian Lesson: To be forgiven, you must forgive

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”  Matthew 6:14-15

Overview

We all feel good about being forgiven for something we did wrong.  As we see from the verse above, we must forgive others for their wrongdoing, or God will not forgive us for our misdeeds.  Forgiving someone who did something wrong to you does not mean you excuse what they did; it means you move past the evil deed, and you have peace in your life.

My Experience

I wish I had learned this lesson early in my life.  As I grew up, I attended so many church classes based on this very lesson.  I did not understand how practical the message was.  To me, the critical point is that your life improves when you forgive someone else. 

When I played football in high school, the competition among all the players on the team was intense.  Many of the athletes were working to earn a scholarship for college.  Sometimes players would take credit for successful plays when the effort that created the success was from a different player.  During my first three years of high school, I played football with the focus of getting as much credit for helping the team as possible.  I wanted to earn a scholarship, and I did everything I could to promote my skills.  When I had to move from a small town in Northern California to Los Angeles for my senior year, I thought all my dreams were gone.  When I prayed for help from God; the message I received was to play for the team, not myself. 

When I moved to Southern California, I played football using the new philosophy.  When other players made mistakes or took credit for things I did, I did not let that create stress for me.  I felt in my heart that I was not bothered by the actions of the other players.  When I could contribute to another player by informing them about something they could do better, I would do it.  I would not maintain resentment. 

The result was that I received much more credit than I ever did in Northern California, and I did not hold any grudges against anyone when things did not go well.

Summary

The critical point about this lesson is not that you let everyone get away with everything.  The strength of the Christian Lesson is that you do not add stress to your life by judging others.  Release yourself from that stress and focus on doing well and helping others.  This lesson does not mean that you think evil deeds are ok when done by others; it means that you do not allow that evil to add stress to your life. 

The most important point I learned was that when I forgave other players for things they did to the team or me, some of those players became close friends and changed their behavior.  I realized that playing for the team was a concept that applied to my entire life.  I did not relate the idea of playing for the team to Matthew Chapter Six until much later in life.  The message God sent me my last day in Northern California was the theme from the Christian Lesson I read many times.  We must apply Christian Lessons to our own lives and work to understand the critical points.

Witness 046 Christian Lessons: The Kingdom of God

This is a test

Jesus answered them and said, ‘The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, “See here!” or “See there!” For indeed, the Kingdom of God is within you.  Luke 17:20-21

 “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.”  Matthew 12:28

 “Then [Jesus] called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”  Luke 9:1-2

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”  Matthew 6:33

Overview

Do many people wonder what the Kingdom of God is?  It is a difficult concept for many people.  Currently, the Kingdom of God is spiritual.  We access the Kingdom of God through prayer, reading the Bible, and worshiping with fellow believers.  As we interact with the Kingdom of God, we begin to feel a part of the Kingdom even though we can not see God or touch an angel.  It is clear from Matthew 6-33 that our first concern should be to be a part of the Kingdom of God, not acquire things on earth. 

We need to reach as many people as we can and help them understand the Kingdom of God. That must be our primary effort. Regardless of how much material goods we acquire here on earth, the priority should be to live our lives consistent with Christian Lessons so we will help as many people as possible reach the Kingdom of God.

My Experience

I wish I understood the importance of the Kingdom of God at an early age.  I was out of college and in the Marine Corps before I understood the importance of following Christian Lessons and preparing for the Kingdom of God. 

I began to understand when I realized how much better my life is when I followed the Christian Lessons.  Probably the Christian Lesson that affected me the most was one I learned while playing sports in high school and college.  After playing football for a couple of years in high school, I received a strong message that I should play for the team, not for my credit.  I thought this was a message from God that was an answer to my prayers.  My own life changed from that moment.  I applied the playing for the team concept to everything I did, college, Marine Corps, business, church, and family.  It was not until I was in my mid-thirties that I realized that the message was a Christian Lesson.   

Summary

We need to read the Bible, worship God with others, and follow Christian Lessons.  Gaining possessions here on earth is not essential, securing our entrance into the Kingdom of God is critical. 

Witness 045 Christian Lessons; Achieve Favor From God By Serving Others And Being Humble

“But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Matthew 23:11-12

Overview

During the time of Jesus, the religious leaders thought that gaining God’s favor meant praying loud so everyone could hear, giving money to others in public for everyone to see, and avoiding sinners.  Jesus made it clear that these practices were not the way to gain God’s favor.  Jesus said your communication with God should be private and the content kept between you and God. Following the lesson to keep your conversation with God private did not mean that you never prayed in public; it said your communication with God is closed and not used to impress other people.

My Experience

I did not follow this Christian Lesson until I was forty years old.  I wish I had made an effort much sooner.  I discovered that following this Christian Lesson helped me in many ways.  There were occasions when I helped friends financially.  Before following this Christian Lesson, I would make my contribution known to others.  I wanted people to know I was generous.  The challenge is that the person I helped feels obligated to respond in some way, especially if many other people know about the contribution.  If the purpose of my gift is truly to serve the person in need, I have no reason to inform anyone else about the donation.    When possible, I help people anonymously.  If the person I help does not know I am the source of the gift, they will not feel obligated to me, and the charity will genuinely be my contribution to help someone in need.  Not a way of gaining favor from other people.

Summary

The Christian Lesson to serve others means to contribute to people in need with the only motive being to help that person, not to gain credit for helping people.  Our objective for providing to needy people should be to please God, not earn credit from other people.  You will receive all the support you need without pursuing acknowledgment from other people.